The Waag Society, together with designer and software engineer Bert Spaan, have put the Netherlands back on the map - the data map. After several months of coding and design, the partnership has managed to account for all 9,866,539 buildings in the country, visualized in varying colors to identify old and new buildings. After a user clicks on a specific block, additional building and city information displays square footages, addresses, populations and programs, among other stats. Users can navigate from Amsterdam to the Hague experiencing hundreds of years of urban development along the way, from the pre-1800s to post-2005 buildings, indicated by the red to blue gradient.
Comparing hundred of years of planning strategies and social statistics is no small task, as we noted in our previous article A New Tool for Comparing Cities. However 'big data' has proven to be one of the best ways to analyze the basis of today's trends, from fashion to neurological disorders to the growth of cities.
"Understanding precedes action," states architect and information architecture pioneer, Richard Wurman. By "discovering issues at these large scales," we can become better equipped to make more informed decisions about the future.
We can now enjoy viewing the Netherlands from a completely new perspective. Dutch residents are encouraged to explore their neighborhoods and report any incorrect building data to further refine the new database.
Explore the Netherlands map here.
References: CitysDK, Waag Society, NRC, The Urban Observatory